Some of triathlon’s greatest legends and contributors gathered at RACV Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast last night, as Triathlon Australia celebrated a remarkable season at the Annual Celebration of Champions Awards.
It was glittering celebration of the past, present and future champions of the sport on a night that saw two legends of triathlon, Craig Alexander OAM and Mirinda Carfrae inducted into the Triathlon Australia Hall of Fame.
And five pioneers elevated to Legend of Sport status - Tim Bentley, Belinda Soszyn, Belinda Granger, Lachlan Lewis and Radovan Leovic.
Tokyo Paralympic silver medalist Parker and Tokyo Olympian Hauser were both awarded Performances of the Year for both 2021 and 2022, with two-time Olympian Ashleigh Gentle being announced as joint-winner of Performance of the Year for 2022 with Parker.
Parker was also named the 2021 and 2022 Para triathlon Female Performance of the Year and honoured as a three-time World Champion for 2019, 2021 and 2022.
The pair were also proud winners of the prestigious Athlete’s Athlete of the Year – Parker for 2021 and Hauser for 2022 – awards voted on by their peers.
In a remarkable year Parker won double gold in the World Para Series in Montreal and Swansea, before defending her world title in Abu Dhabi last month, completing a rare three-peat, after her previous title wins in Lausanne in 2019 and Abu Dhabi in 2021.
Gentle has also had a remarkable season shifting gears to long course racing and winning gold at the PTO US Open, PTO Canada Open and Collins Cup.
Hauser had a break-out season after his 2021 U23 World Championships bronze, finishing sixth overall in 2022 World Triathlon Championship Series after winning individual and relay silver in Hamburg. He capped off an incredible year at the 2022 Commonwealth Games taking home bronze medals in individual and relay in Birmingham.
Matt also took gold in two Super League races and finished second overall in the series.
Paralympians Nic Beveridge and David Bryant (2021) and Jeremy Peacock (2022) were named the Para triathlon Male Performance Award winners – Beveridge and Bryant for their respective seventh place finishes in the Tokyo Paralympics with Peacock winning bronze in this year’s World Championships in Abu Dhabi.
While QLD Performance Centre head coach Dan Atkins (QLD) took out the High Performance Coach Awards for both 2021 and 2022.
Atkins is the coach behind Matt Hauser’s rise to international success over the past six years.
Kira Hedgeland (2021) and Matilda Offord and Toby Powers (2022) who were named winners of the Chris Hewitt Emerging Athlete Award –in memory of Chris Hewitt – a former Triathlon Australia president and Board Member who was a major player in the development of young triathlon talent.
Gaye McKean (WA) 2021; Jenny Dennison (VIC) and Deanna Waters (NSW) 2022 – taking out the Rob George Awards that recognises the valuable contributions made by Technical Officials (TO) in their home states.
The award is presented to officialswho demonstrate a high personal commitment similar to that exhibited by the late Rob George – a valued long-term member of the TA family and highly respected by all members of the triathlon community as a TO in NSW, who passed away suddenly in 2012.
Adam Beckworth (VIC) 2021 and Nathan Miller (NSW) and Des Gooda (QLD) 2022 were awarded the Age Group Coaches of the Year – an award recognising coaches who display excellence in all aspects of the Age Group environment.
Nicky Western (NSW) was recognised with the Pathways Coach Award, a new award introduced to acknowledge the instrumental role coaches play in the early development of athletes who will go on to become future Champions.
Western received the award for her guidance and mentorship, growing the Hunter Academy of Sport in Newcastle to achieve excellent results.
The Bray Brothers (Haydon, Damien and Adam), Andrew Fraser and Dr Lori Cameron (VIC) were awarded the Service to the Sport Awards.
The Bray Brothers and Fraser masterminded the innovative Triathlon Grand Prix and the Formula One Triathlon Series – a unique racing concept made for television in the 1990s.
Lori Cameron was a pioneer of women in triathlon, voted on to the Women’s Commission at the 1992 ITU Congress, playing a key role with significant contribution to the development of women’s triathlon.